Security and Prosperity Partnership: Meet the Powerful Business Members of the North American Competitiveness Council

Region: ,

The North American Competitiveness Council, part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, was established by the American, Canadian and Mexican governments at the June 2006 trilateral meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Comprised of 30 senior private sector representatives, 10 from each country (though there are 13 U.S. members), the council is mandated to provide governments with recommendations on issues including border regulation and competitiveness in the automotive, transportation, manufacturing and services sectors. The council is expected to meet annually with security and prosperity ministers and will engage with senior government officials on an ongoing basis. They last met in February 2007 in Ottawa and are expected to meet again in Canada in August. The following is a brief list of the council members.


Dominic D’Alessandro, Manulife Financial
Italian-born chartered accountant has been Manulife Financial’s president since 1994. Mr. D’Alessandro is a vice chairman of the board of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and a director of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. He also co-chairs the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

Paul Desmarais, Jr., Power Corporation of Canada
In 1984, appointed vice-chairman of Power Financial Corporation, a company he helped set up, becoming chairman of the board in 1990 and chairman of the executive committee in May 2005. He was appointed chairman of the board and co-CEO of Power Corporation of Canada in 1996.

David Ganong, Ganong Bros. Ltd.
Director of Ganong Bros. since 1977, director of Canadian Council of Chief Executive Officers, and chairman on the University of New Brunswick’s board of governors. He is also director of Sun Life Financial, director of the Conference Board of Canada, chairman of the New Brunswick Business Council.

Richard George, Suncor Energy Inc.
Originally from Colorado, Mr. George spent 10 years with Sun Company in the U.S. and the UK. Appointed Suncor’s president and CEO in 1991. Took Canadian citizenship in 1996. Honourary chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and a member of the board of directors of the U.S. offshore and onshore drilling company, GlobalSantaFe Corporation.

E. Hunter Harrison, CN
President and CEO of CN since 2003. Former president and CEO of the Illinois Central Corporation and the Illinois Central Railroad Company. Member of Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Authored the book, How We Work and Why in 2005. Born in Tennessee.

Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corporation (NACC chairperson)
Ms. Hasenfratz joined Linamar Corporation in 1990 and held many positions, including director, president and chief operating officer. Named CEO in August 2002. Holds an Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Also sits on the board of directors for CIBC and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Michael Sabia, Bell Canada Enterprises
President and CEO of BCE, and CEO of Bell Canada, Mr. Sabia has held these same positions and others in both companies as well as Bell Canada International Inc. since 1999. He’s also board chairman of Bell Aliant Regional Communications, as well as director of the Thomson Corporation. Previously worked with the CN Railway, the federal Department of Finance and the Privy Council Office.

Jim Shepherd, Canfor Corporation
Appointed Canfor Corporation’s president and CEO in April 2004, Mr. Shepherd quit his post on March 30. Mr. Shepherd has worked in Ontario and B.C.’s forestry industries for over 25 years, including as Slocan Forest Products’s president in 1999. He sits on a number of boards including the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Asia Pacific Trade Council.

Annette Verschuren, The Home Depot
Former president and co-owner of arts and crafts chain Michael’s of Canada, Ms. Verschuren joined Home Depot in 1996, and is president of Canadian operations. She sits on the boards of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Habitat for Humanity, and is chancellor to University College of Cape Breton.

Rick Waugh, Scotiabank
Appointed president and CEO in 2003, Mr. Waugh has been with Scotiabank since 1970, serving in investment, corporate, international and retail banking areas. He also serves on the board of the Institute for International Finance, is a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Council for the Council of the Americas, and the IMF’s Capital Markets Consultative Group.


José Luís Barraza Gonzalez, Consejo Coordinador Empresarial
Over 22 years’ experience in international commerce, promotion and industrial development. President of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (Enterprise Coordinating Council) since 2004, and of the Council of Administration of Companies. Mr. Barraza is also CEO of Grupo Impulso, Realiza & Asociados, Inmobiliaria Realiza and Optima. He previously served as vice-president for the promotion of economic development in the state of Chihuahua.

Gastón Azcárraga Andrade, Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios
President of Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios, a group of Mexico’s leading industrialists, and CEO of Mexicana de Aviaci√≥n and Grupo Posadas. In 1989 became CEO of Grupo Posadas, a leading hotel operator in Latin America founded by his father. He is also a member of the board of directors of ING Mexico and Holcim-Apasco and is an advisor to the National Tourism Council.

César de Anda Molina, president and CEO of Avicar de Occidente
Mr. Anda Molina has been involved with Mexico’s poultry and farming industry in a variety of capacities, including as president of the National Union of Poultry Producers and vice-president of International Relations of the Farming National Council.

Valentín Díez Morodo, Consejo Mexicano de Comercio Exterior
As well as being president of the Consejo Mexicano de Comercio Exterior (Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology), Mr. Diez is a member of the Mexican Business Council, president of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness and board president of Iberoamericana University. He sits on a number of boards of directors including Grupo Financiero Banamex, Mexichem and Kimberly Clark de México.

Jaime Yesaki Cavazos, Consejo Nacional Agropecuario
Mr. Yesaki is director of the Consejo Nacional Agropecuario (National Agriculture and Livestock Council), the principal agri-business federation in Mexico. He is also the CEO of several poultry companies.

Claudio X. González, Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado
In addition to being president of the Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado (Center of Economic Studies of the Private Sector), Mr. Gonzalez is also a director of Kellogg Company, The Mexico Fund, Inc., Banco Nacional de Mexico, Grupo Televisa and Telefonos de Mexico, among others. He is has also been board chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark de Mexico since 1973.

Guillermo Vogel, vice-president of TAMSA (Tubos de Acero de México)
Mr. Vogel joined TAMSA in 1983 and has been vice chairman since 1997. He is also vice chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute, vice-chairman of the board of Tenaris and chairman of the North American Steel Council. He is also a board director of Amazonia, Instituto Latinoamericano del Fierro y el Acero, Citibank-Banamex and HSBC Bank Mexico.

León Halkin, Confederación de Cámaras Industriales (CONCAMIN)
Mr. Halkin was president of the Confederación de Cámaras Industriales (Mexican Federation of Industrial Chambers) until October 2006. He is also chairman of the board and CEO of four companies in the industrial and real estate markets.

Tomás González Sada, president and CEO of Grupo CYDSA
Took over as chairman, president and CEO of Grupo Cydsa, a textiles manufacturing firm, in 1994. Involved in a sister enterprise, Vitro Corporativo S.A. de C.V. Mr. Gonzalez Sada is also chairman of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.

Alfredo Moisés Ceja, president of Finca Montegrande
Asides from being president of the winery Finca Montegrande, Mr. Moises Ceja is president of the council of the Mexican Association of Coffee Exporters and is vice president of international commerce on Mexico’s National Agricultural Council.


Lou Schorsch, Mittal Steel USA
Named Mittal Steel USA’s CEO in 2006 after serving for a year as CEO in 2005. Dr. Schorsch previously serves as CEO of Ispat Inland and has over 26 years of experience in consulting and management in the steel industry, as well as the e-commerce sector. He is the co-author of the book Steel: Upheaval in a Basic Industry.

Joseph Gilmour, New York Life
Promoted to chief executive of New York Life International in 2006. Served as executive vice president and chief financial officer there since 2003. Worked for 25 years with Canada Life, including role as senior vice president of the international and reinsurance Division. Mr. Gilmour is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Rick Wagoner, General Motors
Elected GM’s chairman and chief executive officer in 2003. He had been president and CEO since 2000. Began career with GM in 1977 and has worked for the firm in Canada, Brazil and Switzerland. Mr. Wagoner is a member of the boards of trustees of Duke University, the Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Harvard Business School, and the Board of Directors of Catalyst. He is chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

William Clay Ford Jr., Ford
Director since 1988, chairman of the board of directors since 2001 and executive chairman since 2006 of the Ford Motor Company. Mr. Ford has held a number of management positions within Ford. He also is vice chairman of the Detroit Lions, Inc. and chairman of the Detroit Economic Club.

Raymond Gilmartin, Merck
Mr. Gilmartin left his role as chairman, president and CEO of pharmaceutical firm Merck in 2005, joining the Harvard Business School’s MBA program in 2006, his alma mater. He joined Merck in 1994. He sits on the boards of Microsoft and General Mills Inc. Mr. Gilmartin has been involved in global economic and trade issues that concern the pharmaceutical industry.

David J. O’Reilly, Chevron
Born in Ireland, Mr. O’Reilly joined Chevron in 1968 and was elected chairman and CEO in 2000. Mr. O’Reilly is a committee director at the American Petroleum Institute and a director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the JPMorgan International Council, the American Society of Corporate Executives and the Trilateral Commission.

Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric
Mr. Immelt has been the General Electric Company’s CEO since 2001, the latest senior position he’s held since joining the corporation in 1982. He has been president since 2000. Mr. Immelt also serves as a director of Catalyst, Robin Hood and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

H. Lee Scott, Wal-Mart
President and CEO since January 2000. Joined Wal-Mart in 1979 and rose through the ranks of the company’s logistics operations, including as director of transportation. Mr. Scott also serves on the board of directors for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin
Former director of Monsanto Company, he joined Lockheed Martin Corporation in the 1990s and held many senior positions until being appointed the firm’s chairman, president and chief executive officer in 2005.

Michael Haverty, Kansas City Southern
President and CEO of Kansas City Southern, a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama, since 2000. He is also board chairman and CEO of Kansas City Southern De Mexico.

Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s Soup
Has been Campbell Soup Company’s president, CEO and director since 2001. Over 25 years experience in the food industry, notably with General Mills, Inc., Phillip Morris Companies, Inc. (Kraft), and Nabisco, where he served as president from 1995-2000. Mr. Conant is also a director of Applebee’s International, Inc. and a vice-chairman and trustee of The Conference Board.

James M. Kilts, Gillette
Retired as Gillette Company CEO in 2005 after helping merge the firm with Procter & Gamble in 2004. Former president and CEO of Nabisco, Kraft Foods, and Altria. Mr. Kilts is a member of the board of directors of The New York Times, the Metropolitan Life Insurance, MeadWestvaco and serves as a member of Citigroup’s International Advisory Board.

Herman Cain, Whirlpool
A director of Whirlpool Corp. since 1992 and is a member of the board of directors. Mr. Cain is also the CEO and president of THE New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company. Formerly with The Pillsbury Company, the U.S. Navy and Coca-Cola, Mr. Cain also serves on the boards of AGCO, Inc., Aquila, Inc., Reader’s Digest and Hallmark Cards, and is a member of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform.

compiled by Christina Leadlay

Articles by: Global Research

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]